subject: Wayside Takeout (Ol' Virginia Fried Chicken)
take-out vehicle: lots of styrofoam
When I was growing up, I had a friend who everyone knew was going to be a scientist. His dad was a scientist, his mom was a scientist, he played the cello; we just knew. That was fifteen years ago. Now, to absolutely no one's surprise, he's a scientist. Luckily for me, however, he's not one of those theortical electro-quantum-nuclear-chemical physicists who only hypothesize about things that don't matter to me. No, my friend Stephan studies important things, like why I can go nuts at Wayside and not worry about having a heart attack five minutes later.*
And it's a good thing, too. In addition to the goodness pictured to the right (which, in case you're curious, includes five pieces of chicken, two orders of hush puppies, and single-person portions of green beans, mac'n'cheese, and cole slaw), my wife and I also ordered baked beans and banana pudding. Wee!
I'll be honest, I'm not really sure how to critique Wayside. You either love it or you don't...and frankly I've never met anyone that doesn't. The chicken was crispy, greasy, succulent, meaty...basically everything that fried chicken should be. Both the green beans and the baked beans tasted mightily of pork—ham hock and smoky bacon, respectively. And the hush puppies? Magical.
I guess the only real stumbling block for me was the cole slaw. It wasn't really bad, but it was just really ordinary. And kinda soupy. Okay I take it back...it was bad. It didn't really have any flavor other than diluted mayonnaise, and the ingredients were all but unrecognizable. Given everything else on my plate, though, I wasn't really that put out. For the record, I also picked up three completely unnecessary condiments that weren't particularly good (honey mustard, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce), but really, all these sides were merely hangers-on; it was the chicken that brought me to Wayside, and it's the chicken that'll keep me coming back.
* I'm sure this is a criminal over-simplification of the biological science involved, but whatever. It helps me not feel guilty. Yay for scientists!**
** Seriously, though: run some laps, people. Eating fatty fried fat is awesome, and maybe it won't solidify all your arteries, but have some sense. Fruit's good, too.